Most young Arabs reject ISIS and think ‘caliphate’ will fail, poll finds


The Guardian reports: The vast majority of young Arabs are increasingly rejecting Islamic State and believe the extremist group will fail to establish a caliphate, a poll has found.

Only 13% of Arab youths said they could imagine themselves supporting Isis even if it did not use much violence, down from 19% last year, while 50% saw it as the biggest problem facing the Middle East, up from 37% last year, according to the 2016 Arab Youth Survey.

However, concern is mounting across the region as a chronic lack of jobs and opportunities were cited as the principal factor feeding terrorist recruitment. In eight of the 16 countries surveyed, employment problems were a bigger pull factor for Isis than extreme religious views.

The eighth annual survey provides a snapshot of the aspirations of 200 million people. It found that five years after the start of the Arab spring, most youngsters prioritise stability over democracy. Optimism that the region would be better off in the wake of the 2011 uprisings has been steadily declining.

In 2016, only 36% of young people said they felt the Arab world was in better shape following the upheaval, down from 72% in 2012. The majority (53%) agreed that maintaining stability was more important than promoting democracy (28%). In 2011, 92% of Arab youth said “living in a democracy” was their most cherished wish. [Continue reading…]

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